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NALP Shows JD Is Surely an Advantage
A Juris Doctor is still as flexible as before, and in fact, if NALP's recent survey on 2013 class graduates are anything to go by, a JD continues to give an advantage in other jobs besides traditional legal jobs for attorneys. NALP observes in its report on Employment for the Class of 2013 that for a second year in a row new grads find more jobs, and starting salaries have begun to rise. The overall unemployment rate, however, is still almost stagnant due to a historically large graduating class.
NALP surveyed employment figures for the class of 2013, nine months after graduation and made some startling findings. To begin with, it found that only 64.4 percent of fresh law graduates had a job that required being admitted to a bar. The figure has remained unchanged since 2012, and is the lowest percentage ever measured by the NALP. The overall employment scenario looks poorer when one considers that only 59 percent of the Class of 2013 had full time jobs requiring bar passage.
The silver lining in the cloud, however, were the number of jobs law graduates went to, which considered having a JD as an advantage. NALP says the numbers are at a historic high - at 18.4 percent. Also, the report observed, 13.8 percent of graduates were in jobs that did not require a law license, but in which a JD was considered an advantage, or required.
The median salary for the Class of 2013 rose mildly. Last year, it was $90,000 for new law graduates, and this year it is $95,000. The picture may not be very bright, but at least, it is not so dark as a few years ago.
One of the more hopeful findings show that the number of overall jobs obtained by graduates of the Class of 2013 is in fact "higher than the number of jobs obtained by graduates immediately prior to the recession." If that tells us something, it tells us that while the recession was reality, the recovery is not an absolute myth. It is happening.
James Leipold, the executive director of NALP, observed, "In general, the picture that emerges is one of slow growth, and growth that is a blend of continued shrinkage and downsizing in some areas offset by growth in some other areas." He further emphasized, "following the dramatic downsizing during the recession, the variety and diversity of jobs that law grads take now is greater than ever."
You can see selected findings of the NALP report here.
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